Palos Township Republican Committeeman Sean Morrison was elected and sworn in Wednesday to Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman’s 17th District seat on the County Board.
Gorman last week announced her resignation from the County Board to take a job in the private sector.
The selection of longtime Gorman ally Morrison to succeed her was made Wednesday at an election meeting of 17th District Republican township committeemen that Gorman scheduled at Hackney’s restaurant in Palos Park.
The GOP committeeman of Orland Township, Gorman and Morrison had nearly 50 percent of the weighted vote of GOP committeemen of townships located wholly or partly within the 17th District, including Lyons, Bremen, Worth, Lemont, Proviso and Maine townships. Each committeeman’s weighted vote is a percentage of the total number of GOP ballots cast in each township in the 17th District in the last election.
Gorman served nearly 13 years representing the 17th District of suburban Cook County.She was first elected in 2002 after defeating fellow Republican incumbent Herb Schumann in the primary election. She went on to win four terms, winning easily against Democratic challengers in the solid Republican 17th District. She leaves office early in her fourth term.
Gorman will retain her elective partisan post as Orland Township Republican committeeman.
Gorman and Morrison are long political allies whose organizations have worked together to organize elaborate, well-attended Palos-Orland-Worth GOP summer picnics, especially in even-numbered election years, and try to elect GOP hopefuls to office, seeing their share of wins and defeats.
Gov. Rauner racked up large margins of in both Orland and Palos townships in last November’s election with Gorman and Morrison’s avid support. In Palos Township, Rauner received 60 percent of the vote against the Democratic loser, Gov. Quinn. The two are now backing Palos Township Trustee Sharon Brannigan, of Palos Heights, recently announced candidate for the GOP nomination to run for the Cook County Board of Review 1st District seat held by Wheeling Township Republican Dan Patlak in the 2016 primary election, Gorman said. With their support, Brannigan fought a losing battle to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep Dan Lipinski last November.
Morrison was named Palos Township Republican committeeman in 2012, succeeding Lee Roupas. He ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination to run for the Cook County Board of Review seat won that November by Republican nominee Dan Patlak. In another election, his Palos Township slate of trustee candidates fared better, winning a clean sweep of trustee seats on the Palos town board, the first time Brannigan was elected to public office.
A businessman, Morrison is the founder and CEO of Morrison Security, Inc. headquartered in Alsip. He and his wife, Lora, live in Palos Park. They have two children.
It was from the floor of the Cook County boardroom during a special county board meeting Wednesday last week that Gorman announced her departure from public office, she said in a release. Her letter of resignation was formally submitted that day to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of the 17th District for nearly 13 years on this distinguished body,” Gorman wrote. “It has also been a pleasure to serve with you, our board colleagues and staff. My years of service on the Cook County Board of Commissioners have been some of the most rewarding of my life.”
Gorman is leaving public service to take a job at a Fortune 100 company that she declined to name last week. She said she will serve in the Chicago office as the director of local and state operations.
Gorman’s office said she has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, budget and operational efficiencies especially in the area of new technology. “Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation,” the release added.